CDD urges Stakeholders to promote Good Governance
The Center for Democratic Development (CDD Ghana), has called on stakeholders in democracy to endeavour to hold in high esteem the principles of democracy by ensuring peaceful, clean and credible elections. Speaking at a function in Accra to unveil CDD Ghana´s Commemorative Sculpture, "Kronti ne Akwamu", the Executive Director of CDD, Professor E. Gyimah-Boadi said, "the sculpture is intended to serve as a three dimensional reference point for the staff of CDD and associates of the centre and all of the centre´s stakeholders in promotion of democracy and good governance in our country and our continent". In addition to that, he said the Commemorative Sculpture sought to serve two main purposes: one, an embodiment of the history of the centre and Ghana in our evolution as a nation.
The occasion, which marked the 10th Anniversary of CDD, offered Prof. Gyimah-Boadi the opportunity to call on Ghanaians to keep the flame of democracy burning in Ghana and Africa at large. Explaining the Adinkra (Akan calligraphic) symbol in the sculpture, Prof. Gyimah-Boadi said it did not only encapsulate the pillars of democracy – checks and balances, constitutionalism, plurality, diversity and tolerance, but also represented the history of Ghana particularly those of pre-colonial and pre-independence era. That on the other hand gave credence to the fact that “Kronti” according to our history could only initiate decisions but had no ultimate mandate to implement them without the appropriate consent of “Akwamu”. There is therefore no denying the fact that Ghanaians had long been practising democracy in their traditional political administration before the inception of colonial rule that sought to relegate most of our cultural values to the background, meaning that the modern democratic dispensation had only accentuated what has been practiced; to hit the hammer right on the head. In paying this historic tribute, Prof. Gyimah-Boadi fervently called for all hands to be on deck so that our democratic onslaught would not remain an illusion. “The sculpture”, he said, “will be a living reminder for the staff of CDD of the task they have dedicated themselves to”.
A renowned art collector and owner of the biggest art galleries in Ghana, Mr. Seth Dei, who is also a board member of CDD in his speech, pointed out that our Adinkra symbols were majorly printed in funeral cloths making it too stereotypical and that there was the need for transformation, hence the creation of the Commemorative Sculpture at the forecourt of CDD. He said the location of the sculpture was significant as it would create an opportunity for visitors to be educated on its symbolic meaning in order to spread the message of democracy beyond the shores of Ghana. Nana Anoff explained that he chose to create the sculpture with metals since most of our means of transportation were made of metal, thereby drumming home the dynamism of society. He said society and democracy for that matter is dynamic and not static. It was against this background that the sculpture is sustained on a pivot of three poles to enable it revolve. He added that the three poles in other words, represented the Biblical word “Trinity“, which transcended both Christian and traditional religions suggesting that politics and religion have certain things in common and could not be over-emphasised. Democracy, according to Anoff, should not be seen to be cheap. “It required sacrifice, concerted and sustained efforts from all players. We needed to perfect our imperfections”, he stressed.
The Board Chairman of CDD, Mr. Kwasi Abeasi, commended Anoff for having been able to put the history of Ghana and the principles of democracy in such a symbolic form. The unveiling was heralded by a recital of poems by Andrew A. Kwizombe, a Malawian on capacity building programme at the Centre alongside a song performed by the CDD staff. The poem and song echoed the theme of championing democracy in Africa.
The occasion also saw hard working members of staff and past board members of CDD being awarded. Amongst those honoured were Prof. Kwesi Yankah, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana and board and Dr. Angela Ofori-Atta, both former board members of CDD. The function which was held at the forecourt of CDD was attended by a cross section of the public, media and dignitaries including Dr. Audrey Gadzekpo, a board member of CDD; Mr. Keli Gadzekpo of Databank; Mrs. Yankah, wife of Prof. Kwesi Yankah, who received the award on behalf of her husband. CDD-Ghana is a non-partisan and non-governmental organisation that was formed some ten years ago to promote democracy, good governance and economic openness.
Source: The Daily Dispatch, Monday August 25th 2008, Vol. 21 No. 69.